Disneyland Paris: Walt Disney Studios
If you missed my recap of Magic Kingdom, check that out first!
The plan for the last day of our very short trip to Paris was to head over to Walt Disney Studios as soon as they opened and then leave by 16:00 in order to be back in time to catch the ferry back to England. We had no idea we were in store for a blistering cold, snowy day at the park!
We had noticed a little patisserie between our hotel and the park the day before on the bus, so we decided to go there first for breakfast and get real French croissants. Honestly, I could have eaten a dozen. (But I didn't.) Before leaving, we decided to get a few baguettes to take with us to the park to have something to snack on while waiting in the queues.
Like I mentioned in the previous post, we made a plan before we even arrived. We wanted to get a Fast Pass for either Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith or The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as soon as possible and then jump in the queue for the other. We got a Tower of Terror Fast Pass since the wait time for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster was so low. However, instead of immediately jumping in line, we went over to see Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular (the car stunt show). While we were walking to the stands, it was snowing lightly and the show was due to start in 5 minutes, but somehow by the time we were settled in our seats, the tarmac where the show would take place was completely white and they ultimately cancelled the show.
The crowd all left together and were immediately greeted by a 15 minute wait time at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, so we basically all jumped in line. The ride was as fun as I remember it! Afterwards, Luke and I were joking about how it's probably the exact same roller coaster as Hyperspace Mountain, we just can't tell because they're both in the dark.
Since it was right nearby, we decided to do Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux next. By this point, it was dumping snow and everyone was trying to get under the overhang in an attempt to stay dry. Our guide ended up being a guy dress as a concierge from the nextdoor Hollywood Hotel (Tower of Terror), which was kind of a bummer, because I believe that goes against what Walt Disney wanted in his parks. The whole thing was in French with English subtitles and I think the attraction--experience, maybe--could have been a bit better, but I see how it would have been awesome and cutting edge years ago.
We still had time to kill before our Tower of Terror tickets, so we decided to try to squeeze in Crush's Coaster, which was infinitely better than the Crush ride I remember from Epcot back when I was working there. We froze in the outdoor queue, wondering why Disneyland Paris wouldn't have heaters in their covered, outdoor queue areas because it does get cold in Paris! What they did have, though, was a free wifi game to play while you waited. The ride itself was a different kind of coaster, that's for sure, but it was still a lot of fun and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Since we were nearby, we took a detour through Toy Story Playland. I wish we had gotten to spend more time there because it looked really cool and wasn't something I had seen done (or done similarly) at WDW. They have three rides in the area: Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin, and RC Racer. We considered doing the RC Racer, but Fast Pass wasn't available and in the end, we just didn't have the time. The rest of the rides looked fun, but what I loved most was the detail in the area, especially the railings being made of giant K'NEX!
Finally, it was time for Tower of Terror! At first, it didn't seem like the line was moving very fast, even though we were in the Fast Pass line, but obviously we eventually made it inside. I was a little bummed that the regular line had the front row spot to see the lobby of the hotel, but we were still able to see some of the decor if we stood on our tip toes. The host of our ride was amazing. He really seemed to get into the part, being knowingly creepy and fairly humorous. What was most impressive is that he did his talk in French, English, and a slightly abridged version in Spanish. If the line hadn't been so long, we definitely would have ridden it again.
The guys all decided it was the best ride in the park and I couldn't agree more. It was my favourite ride after visiting WDW for the first time as a child. My older sister Rachel hated it, but we figured it was just because she sat in the back row on the aisle, so was kind of out in the open and had just eaten a funnel cake or something. I couldn't wait to go back on it as soon as I got off. When we went back a few years later, I can't remember if Rachel even went with me and my mom to Hollywood Studios, but she definitely didn't ride it that time. When I was working there in 2010, she visited me since she was nearby for work and finally got her redemption story, conquering the Tower of Terror once and for all!
We still had a few more hours left in the park before we absolutely had to leave, so we got a Fast Pass for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, but there was also only a 10 minute wait time, so we jumped in line as well. The wait ended up being a bit longer than 10 minutes and while in line, we reworked our plan and decided to head off the property for a late lunch before hitting the road instead of killing more time in the park, scarfing down lunch from somewhere on Disney property, and trying to make it to the car in time to go.
Walt Disney Studios definitely seems smaller than it's Florida counterpart Hollywood Studios, but we still could have spent a few more hours there, easily. There was still so much we didn't do, probably as the case with spending one day in any Disney Park. And unfortunately since it was snowing so much and so heavily, our camera spent most of the day in the rucksack so it wouldn't get damaged.
I'd be remiss not to give a shout out to my very favourite travel shoes, Allbirds. I packed these and a pair of booties with the intention to wear my Allbirds for the long day in the park and the booties to be a bit more stylish. I ended up wearing the Allbirds both days because I was so comfortable our day in Magic Kingdom. Not only did my feet not hurt at all, but they were also warm while the guys were complaining about their chilly toes. The day when it snowed, I was still really comfortable and warm, which was surprising since it was big, wet, heavy snow. So well done, Allbirds!